YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — The world’s oldest national park has seen some additional snowfall every day this week resulting in an increased snowpack on some of the interior roads in the park.
The improving conditions have allowed the park to open additional groomed road segments to motorized over-snow travel and to remove some restrictions on road segments which opened to travel on Monday.
Commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobiles and commercial snow coaches with rubber tracks or large over-snow tires may now travel all the way from Mammoth Hot Springs south through Norris to Madison, and from Norris east to Canyon Junction continuing south all the way to West Thumb.
Snowmobiles and all types of snow coaches may travel from the park’s South Entrance through West Thumb to Old Faithful.
From West Yellowstone to Old Faithful, travel is limited to snow coaches with rubber tracks or large over-snow tires or other high clearance commercial wheeled vehicles. However, commercial operators have the option to trailer snowmobiles to Madison or Old Faithful to begin guided over-snow trips from those locations.
The park’s East Entrance will open to guided snowmobile and snow coach travel over Sylvan Pass to Fishing Bridge as scheduled on Monday, December 22.
Park staff continue to closely monitor over-snow road conditions and weather forecasts. Travel between Old Faithful and West Yellowstone will switch to all types of snow coaches and to commercially and non-commercially guided snowmobiles once conditions improve.
The temporary restrictions on travel by snow coaches with metal cleated tracks will also be removed when groomed roads can support their operation.
The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Mont., outside the park’s Northeast Entrance is open to automobile travel all year.
The Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins, the Obsidian Dining Room, the Geyser Grill, the Bear Den Gift Shop, and the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center are all open for the season.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, dining room, and gift shop will open for the season on Saturday. The Yellowstone General Store, the medical clinic, campground, post office, 24-hour gasoline pumps, and the Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs are open all year.
All communities around and on the way to Yellowstone are open year-round, with local businesses offering a wide range of winter recreation opportunities. Extensive information and assistance for planning a visit to Yellowstone is available on the park web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell